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July 7, 2007
Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly have been left out of the 30 probables that India's selectors picked for the Twenty20 World Championship to be held in South Africa in September.
Dravid called up Dilip Vengsarkar, the chairman of selectors, to say that the three seniors had asked not to be considered for the tournament.
"I think that is the way forward for Indian cricket," said Dravid, currently involved in the Indians' tour match against Sussex. "We thought it is better if the younger guys played that tournament. Twenty20 is a game for youngsters. I think it was a proper decision and the way forward for Indian cricket."
Considering the specific demands of the Twenty20 format the selectors have emphasised on youth and fitness. Some of those included are relatively unknown.
The selectors have included many players who have been dropped from the Indian team in the last one year. Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan and Robin Uthappa will be in the reckoning to play in South Africa.
Karan Goel and Niraj Patel, the two top run-scorers in the domestic Twenty20 competition that was held earlier this year, have been rewarded for their performance. Patel was part of the India Under-19 team that won the World Cup in 2000, a side that included Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh.
The probables not only include Irfan Pathan but also his elder brother Yusuf. Yusuf Pathan has consistently performed with both bat and ball for Baroda, and his ability to hit the ball hard might have convinced the selectors to include him in the list.
Anirudha Srikkanth, the son of India's dashing opener Kris Srikkanth, also finds a place in the list. Srikkanth did well in Tamil Nadu's triumph in the domestic tournament though V Devendran, who had an identical aggregate and average, did have a marginally higher strike-rate.
The other youngsters chosen include Saurashtra's Cheteshwar Pujara, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, a batting mainstay in the Bengal side that made it to the Ranji Trophy final, Orissa's Niranjan Behara and Praveen Kumar of Uttar Pradesh.
Vengsarkar expressed confidence in the team selected. "I am sure the youngsters chosen for the Twenty20 tournament would do well."
A final squad of 15 would be selected on August 6 or 7, according to Niranjan Shah, the secretary of the Indian board.
List of probables
Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Sreesanth, Manoj Tiwary, Ajit Agarkar, Karan Goel, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rajesh Pawar, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Joginder Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Munaf Patel, Niranjan Behara, Praveen Kumar, Anirudha Srikkanth, Ramesh Powar, Robin Uthappa, Niraj Patel
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